The contribution of the Swiss Air Force to climate protection

The Luftwaffe of the Schweizer Armee and the Federal Office of Civil Aviation have tested a sustainable fuel in Payerne

Swiss Air Force: the test of a new sustainable fuel carried out by the FOCA
The tests of a new sustainable fuel carried out by the FOCA (Federal Office of Civil Aviation) and the Schweizer Armee, thanks to the Cessna 560XL Citation Excel engine owned by the Swiss Confederation, at the military airport of Payerne, in the Canton of Vaud ( Photo: Helmut Steck/VBS/DDPS)

The Swiss Air Force intends to contribute to climate protection.

From 23 to 24 May 2023 they therefore tested the use of sustainable fuel for air transport under the guidance of the Federal Office of Civil Aviation.

The goal is to reduce the amount of soot and fossil CO2 emissions.

In relation to the total sales of aviation fuel in Switzerland (the reference is to national and international flights from the Swiss country), the share attributable to military air traffic is only about 2 percent.

However, the Air Force intends to actively contribute to the reduction of polluting emissions.

For this reason, under the aegis of the FOCA and together with other partners, such as the research centers of the Zurich University School of Applied Sciences and Paul Scherrer Institute, the Luftwaffe's Schweizer Armee and the Swiss Army Air Force Authority tested the use of sustainable aviation fuel on a Cessna 560 XL Citation Excel.

The experiments took place at the Payerne military base in the Canton of Vaud.

The report “BAZL, Luftwaffe und Wissenschaft testen nachhaltigen Flugtreibstoff” (in German)
The report “L'OFAC, les Forces aériennes et des scientifiques testent les fuels d'aviation durables” (in French)
A global breakthrough for cleaner traffic thanks to Big Data

 

 

Swiss Air Force: the advantages of using sustainable fuel for aircraft flights
The benefits of using sustainable aviation fuel (in German)
Swiss Air Force: the disadvantages of using traditional fuel for airplane flights
The Disadvantages of Using Conventional Fuel for Airplane Flights (in German)

Less sulfur, reduced aromatics and about 35 percent less carbon

The measurements focus on ultrafine soot emissions and volatile ultrafine particles, but also include gaseous pollutants.

The fuel mixture used, with a proportion of around 35 percent sustainable fuel, does not require any technical modifications to the aircraft or the fueling system.

It can be used directly and therefore constitutes an immediately effective measure to reduce emissions in the aviation sector.

The fuel mixture used contains less sulfur, less aromatic hydrocarbons and about 35 percent less carbon.

The sustainable part is produced through a certified process from organic waste such as used edible oil and animal fats.

“Bericht des BAZL betreffend die der Entwicklung und des Einsatz nachhaltigen Flugtreibstoffen” (in German)
"Rapport de l'OFAC concerning the promotion du développement et de l'utilisation de carburants d'aviation durables" (in French)

"FOCA report on promoting the development and use of sustainable fuels for aviation" (in Italian)
Refueling with hydrogen on a Swiss highway is now a reality

Swiss Air Force: the Cessna 560XL Citation Excel for green mobility tests
A Cessna 560XL Citation Excel owned by the Swiss Confederation was used by the FOCA (Federal Office of Civil Aviation) and the Schweizer Armee for tests of a new sustainable fuel at the military airport of Payerne, in the Canton of Vaud

A measuring system specially developed in Switzerland is placed behind the engine

The measurements were made on the ground with an engine running through the entire power range once 'with' and once 'without' the sustainable aviation fuel blend.

For this purpose, a measuring system specially developed in Switzerland is placed behind the engine.

Comparison of measurement results is ensured by the application of international measurement standards.

At the end of the tests, ZHAW, PSI and FOCA evaluate the changes in the measured emissions.

The results will be disclosed in a scientific publication.

The report “Faktenmaterial Wege zu fossilfreiem Fliegen” (in German)
The report “Vers une aviation zéro fossile” (in French)
Synthetic petrol: the future of mobility from Porsche eFuel

Swiss Air Force: the test of a new sustainable fuel carried out by the FOCA
The tests of a new sustainable fuel carried out by the FOCA (Federal Office of Civil Aviation) and the Schweizer Armee, thanks to the Cessna 560XL Citation Excel engine owned by the Swiss Confederation, at the military airport of Payerne, in the Canton of Vaud
(Photo: Helmut Steck/VBS/DDPS)

The cooperation between civilian and military actors, extended to the PSI and the ZHAW, is truly exemplary

The measurements are financed, inter alia, by the Swiss fuel fee for domestic flights.

The FOCA, which manages the project, provides the technical data of the engine and the exhaust gas probe for measurement.

The Air Force participates by making personnel and aircraft available.

The Army Logistics Base organizes and finances the fuel.

The ZHAW operates the Swiss system for measuring aircraft engine exhaust gases.

The Paul Scherrer Institute provides expertise and measuring instruments for the further analysis of pollutants and particles.

This cooperation demonstrates in an exemplary way how military and civilian actors work together in a proactive, simple and efficient way for common goals.

ReFuel is the star of "Clean energy and sustainable mobility"

Swiss Air Force: the Cessna 560XL Citation Excel for green mobility tests
A Cessna 560XL Citation Excel owned by the Swiss Confederation was used by the FOCA (Federal Office of Civil Aviation) and the Schweizer Armee for tests of a new sustainable fuel at the military airport of Payerne, in the Canton of Vaud

With the so-called “Sustainable Aviation Fuels” or SAF, emissions are reduced by 80 percent

Sustainable aviation fuels are the most promising approach to reduce aviation CO2 emissions.

Compared to fossil fuels, more than 80 percent of these emissions can be avoided.

Measurements already carried out in the civil aeronautical sector have shown that, in this way, it is also possible to significantly reduce other polluting emissions.

This makes it possible to reduce the effects on the climate that are not attributable to CO2.

A split aircraft in the shape of a "V" for sustainable aviation

Swiss Air Force: the Cessna 560XL Citation Excel for green mobility tests
A Cessna 560XL Citation Excel owned by the Swiss Confederation was used by the FOCA (Federal Office of Civil Aviation) and the Schweizer Armee for tests of a new sustainable fuel at the military airport of Payerne, in the Canton of Vaud